Thursday, March 31, 2016

Under the Wire - March Mini Madness

I was so excited about the March Challenge for the Island Batik Ambassadors - Mini Madness!  I had such great plans because I love miniature quilts - I have a fabulous collection of magazines and books all about miniature quilts, and I was going to make more than one for sure..I thought.  March ended up being such a crazy month that despite my early start on my project I barely finished it today.  But I am so pleased with it!

This pattern is from Carol Doak's book "Easy Paper Pieced Miniatures"  I acquired this book several years ago because my mom bought a set of the foundation papers for it, and you kind of need the book to use them!  It was a good investment - I've made several of the quilts and they are all so fun!  This one is called Simply Solids and was a perfect choice for the Island Batik fabrics I wanted to use.
The black and the light green came from one of the stash builder rolls I received.  Both blues are from last summers Meadow collection, The orange, pink and peach fabrics are from the lavish collection and the yellow is Caribbean Splash!  I love mixing and matching fabrics from different collections.

I really like it on the diagonal!  Kind of looks like a God's Eye weaving!

One of my favorite things about mini quilts is that though you might spend nearly as much time piecing them as for a larger project, the quilting is fast!  With all these tiny pieces you don't need a lot of quilting, so a bit of stitch in the ditch, and a swirl around the border got this mini done in no time at all!

Island Batik fabrics are fabulous for foundation paper piecing!  Very little fraying and they press so nicely.

Here are the rest of the Island Batik Embassador posts about their minis.  We had a great time creating them.  Stay tuned for our next challenge - April Showers!  I know what I am going to make already, and you are going to love it.

Mini Madness Ambassador Posts

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Happy Easter, plus Winners!

Sorry for being an absentee blogger this week.  I have been pushing hard to get projects for my customers done and out the door before my husband and I leave on a trip.  I'll show you some of them, but first I have a couple pieces of business to take care of!

First of all, the winner of my Quilt Quazy Queens blog hop prize is:

Billie S!

Billie is actually a real life friend of mine that I met in the local quilt guild years ago!  I am tickled pink that she was chosen to be the winner and have passed her information on to Marian, our Quazy Hop hostess, so I am sure she will be receiving her Timeless Treasure Fat Quarter Bundle soon.

There are still a few more prizes to grab - here are the last of the blogs to check out:

March 25
After You leave your comments at the above blogs
Stop In To Enter also Marian's Featured Day

This week we also wrapped up the Creative New Quilts and Projects blog hop!  The winner of the book I gave away is:  Doris McCarty!  Congratulations, Doris - I have passed your information on to our hop sponsors, so you should be hearing from them soon as well.  This was a fun hop, it was really neat seeing what all the ambassadors did with the quilts in Wendy's book plus Island Batik fabric!  If you didn't see the posts, the list is on the Island Batik Blog - definitely worth checking out!

What's New in the Quilting Studio?

Mostly customer quilts this week!  I was putting the finishing touches on two quilts for a loyal customer in California.  Both of these were made with purchased kits.  She is a big cat fan, so I couldn't resist tempting her with this quilt.  I don't do that often, but I knew she would love it!

It's called Cat's Fancy and the kit is still available on Craftsy!  It was fun and pretty simple to make.  I chose this backing and love the way the quilting shows up on it:

I also made this table topper.  I posted a little about it earlier, but here is the finished quilt, along with all 20 in and out corners with binding sewn on - whew!

I finished piecing this top for a local friend who passed it on to me after finding it a bit difficult to deal with:
Lots and lots of y-seams in this one, but in the end it came out beautifully!

I also quilted a fish quilt, am in the process of making a t-shirt quilt and quilting another quilt.  I will get pictures of those next week before I send them off to their homes.  Plus I need to finish up my Mini for Island Batik's Mini Madness....

My little quilt still needs it's borders and to be quilted.  One of the great things about minis is they don't take much time, so I should be able to get to that this weekend.

 After all that, I definitely deserve a vacation!   I'm planning out some fun blog posts for next month.  I have lots of quilts that I have never blogged about, so will do something of a virtual quilt show and see if I can catch up on some of those quilts that have never made it to the spotlight!

Thanks to my new followers for joining in!  I hope you enjoy following along on my quilting adventures.  

Monday, March 21, 2016

Quilt Quazy Queens Bloghop and Giveaway!

Welcome to my day on the Quilt Quazy Queens blog hop!  Marian of Seams to Be Sew put this together to celebrate international Quilting Day and it runs all the way through this week as well!  There are lots of great prizes every day, so be sure you go to the list at the end of my post and go check out all the other blogs!

We weren't asked to make a specific project to show you, but to tell you a little about why we are so Quazy about Quilting!  

I've been quilting for around 30 years now, and have made so many quilts that I don't know how to begin, so I thought I would share some of the quilts that I have enjoyed finishing for other people.  It gives me great joy to take an assortment of pieces, blocks or a top and turn it into a finished quilt that someone can cuddle up in and enjoy.  Here are a few of my favorites:

This is a quilt that was started by one of the ladies that I was in my quilt guild with for many years.  She made many beautiful scrappy quilts, and this was one she was working on when she was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.  When she realized that she was not going to be able to finish it for her son and daughter-in-law, she asked me to work on it.  It was a bittersweet pleasure to make all these little Dresden Plates.  I am glad I was able to finish it, but sad to lose a sweet friend and delightful person.

This quilt I call Joan's Vintage Butterfly quilt.  This was a quilt that the owner thinks it was made in the 60's by a friend.  It was a tied quilt, and the batting was falling apart as well as the black butterfly bodies.  I took out the ties and replaced all the bad pieces.  Then I added a new batting and back, then machine quilted it.  I shared the pattern for the block on Craftsy - it's a tricky one, but if you are patient it is a beauty!  Now instead of being ready for the rag bag, it's a quilt that can be enjoyed for many more years.

I've done several cross-stitched tops.  This pretty little quilt started off as a cross-stitched top.  The quilting lines were marked, so I just had to add the quiliting, by machine.  It's a little tricky, but it's really nice to be able to finish these projects for people - often it's a mom or grandma who started it!

This is another quilt I was asked to finish for a fellow quild member who was terminally ill.  Her daughters were so happy to have the quilt finished and plan to take turns enjoying it.  This was hand quilted with perle cotton and big stitch quilting!  Fun!

I also get asked to hand quilt from time to time.  I enjoy finishing these lovely vintage tops - it's a lot of fun to see all the old fabrics, and the wonderful fine hand piecing that was done on these.  I have one I am working on now, it's an Ocean Waves pattern - hopefully I will get that finished next week to show you!

I also really enjoy designing my own quilts - often using traditional patterns.  This is one of my favorites.  It was juried into the Denver National show several years ago, which was a highlight for me!  No prizes, but it was such an honor to have my quilt in a big show!

This quilt was inspired by a glimpse of a floor tile in the movie Titanic.  I enjoyed creating this quilt so much - originally I had a star in the center, but had to go with the compass in the end.  I would love to recreated this one someday as a miniature!  (Which is another passion of mine in quilting)

This is Nova Nouvelle - designed by Jinny Beyer and published in a magazine.  I didn't want to make the full size quilt, so I made this one in miniature!  It finished at around 25 inches!  A challenging project to make, and I loved being able to use that small stripe for borders.

Now for the fun stuff!  I get to give away a fat quarter bundle from Timeless Treasures!

 My giveaway will be open for just today, so make sure you enter to win!  Also you can receive 10% off your order (but you can't use it with a gift certificate) at the Fat Quarter shop this week!  Just use the code seamstobe316 when you order.  Enter my giveaway by using the rafflecopter gadget below:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

There are also more giveaways today - plus after you enter those, go enter on Marian's blog to be entered in another one!
March 22
After You leave your comments at the above blogs
Stop In To Enter Only At

Here is the list for the rest of the week as well.  Don't miss out, each of these bloggers has something special to share with you about their love of quilting.  You'll feel like you are meeting new friends :)

March 23
After You leave your comments at the above blogs
Stop In To Enter Only At

March 24
After You leave your comments at the above blogs
Stop In To Enter Only At

March 25
After You leave your comments at the above blogs
Stop In To Enter and Also My Featured Day

Thanks for stopping by, and to Marian for getting it all organized (and inviting me to be part of it!)

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Let's Get Hopping!

Blog hopping that is!  Today starts off this great hop with Quilt Quazy Queens!

Here is the line-up to get you started - 
And you definitely want to stop by Bejeweled Quilts and see her version of Birds of a Feather Placemats for the Creative New Quilts and Projects Blog Hop!

Hope you have fun hopping around!

The Creative New Quilts and Projects hop continues!

Today's stop on the hop is Carol, from MooseStash Quilting.  I love her project, so you want to check it out and enter to win a copy of Wendy Sheppards book - Creative New Quilts and Projects for precuts and stash!  Speaking of giveaways, I really apologize for the issue with my rafflecopter gizmo yesterday.  Make sure you complete your entry if you haven't already - I will try to make sure that everyone who commented on my blog yesterday is entered, but it would help if you can do it yourself just in case.  Remember this giveaway is for US addresses only as Lauderdale is doing the shipping!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Yesterday I worked some more on a project I took on earlier this month.  Here is the picture of the completed quilt from the Craftsy website:

It's a pretty quilt - lots of y-seams, but I can deal with those.  The worst part of this quilt was cutting it out!  It is made from a jelly roll, and there were was a color chart and a color illustration of the three different blocks, plus partial blocks, but that was it.  Trying to keep all the strips organized and cut out the pieces was a nightmare.  I tried cutting out a sample block, but it was too crazy trying to pull the strips out of the pile and get them back in order again.  So I got out those design boards I made and used them to cut out all the pieces at once.

They give this quilt an intermediate rating, but I think it should be advanced.  I finished a couple blocks yesterday after finishing the cutting and they look great so far!  I'm looking forward to filling my design wall as I go, I know it will be beautiful.

Happy St. Patrick's day :)
This is my Floral Irish Chain quilt - one of the few green quilts I've made!  This pattern was one of the first I wrote - it's almost a mini with the pieced blocks that make up this quilt being only 5 inches square - that makes the individual pieces finishing at 1 inch.  The great thing is that it's all strip pieced so you are never handling individual squares.  That makes it a lot easier.  I think strip piecing is really one of my favorite techniques.  

I have several quilts waiting to be quilted today, so I guess I'd better get busy - hope your day is a good one!

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Flight of Colors for Creative New Quilts and Projects Blog Hop

Welcome to my day for the Creative New Quilts and Project blog hop!  I was excited to get to make this project from Wendy Sheppard's book - pillows are such a fun decorative touch and these pillows have a lot of negative space to show off some fun quilting.

The pieces in this project are small, but the instructions for putting it together were so easy to follow and Wendy thought of a really clever way to cut and sew those odd shaped pieces!  The illustrations were great, as well and really helped me make sure I got everything sewn together in the right order.  She used leftovers from the crossings quilt for hers, and I used some leftovers from my Caribbean Splash Fish Quilt and Sea Salt Sandy Sea Star quilt for mine!  The background is also Island Batik - Swirl Circles in light grey that I bought last year for a different project.  Isn't it pretty?  I did the quilting with Aurifil 50 wt thread in pale yellow.

This was a really fun project to make, and I am thrilled with the end results.

 As I was looking through the rest of the book I saw several projects that appealed to me.  I really appreciated seeing the possibilities of using precuts, or fabrics from your stash (because you know we all have that stash issue).  And the quilting is eye candy for sure!  I loved the variety of different projects in the book as well, several would make fun gifts.

Take a minute and listen to Wendy's interview with Pat Sloan!  You can also catch up with Wendy on her blog.

Would you like a copy of this Creative New Quilts and Projects?  You can buy a copy right now!  It is available from Lauderdale Publishing as a print copy or a download!

Or you can enter this drawing to win a copy for free!  This drawing is only open for United States addresses and Lauderdale will ship the winner their copy.

***********OOPS!  The rafflecopter giveaway widget won't start until tomorrow, but go ahead and leave a comment and either come back and finish later, or I will add your e-mail manually!  Sorry for the issue!**********

Make sure you check out the rest of the hop, each one of us will be giving away a copy of the book. as well as showcasing a project made out of Island Batik!

Monday, March 14 – Island Batik (You’re here now!)
Tuesday, March 15 – Crossings Quilt, The Fit Quilter
Wednesday, March 16 – Flight of Colors Pillows, Pamela Quilts
Thursday, March 17 – Care for a Cuppa Quilt, MooseStash Quilting
Friday, March 18 – Birds of a Feather Placemats, Bejeweled Quilts

Monday, March 21 – Birds of Feather Runner, One Quilting Circle
Tuesday, March 22 – Childhood Memories Quilt, Beaquilter
Wednesday, March 23 – Winter Blues Quilt, Freemotion by the River ANDKISSed Quilts
Thursday, March 24 – Stars Over Columbia Quilt, Mary Mack Made Mine
Friday, March 25 – Count My Blessings Quilt, Lemon Tree Snippets

Monday, March 14, 2016

Blog Hop - Creative New Quilts and Projects

Today is the start of the hop - and it's all about this book - Creative New Quilts and Projects.

You can see the introduction on the Island Batik blog here.  Make sure to leave a comment to be entered in a drawing for a fat quarter bundle!

Here is the schedule of posts:

Monday, March 14 – Island Batik
Tuesday, March 15 – Crossings Quilt, The Fit Quilter
Wednesday, March 16 – Flight of Colors Pillows, Pamela Quilts (Me!)
Thursday, March 17 – Care for a Cuppa Quilt, MooseStash Quilting
Friday, March 18 – Birds of a Feather Placemats, Bejeweled Quilts

Monday, March 21 – Birds of Feather Runner, One Quilting Circle
Tuesday, March 22 – Childhood Memories Quilt, Beaquilter
Wednesday, March 23 – Winter Blues Quilt, Freemotion by the River ANDKISSed Quilts
Thursday, March 24 – Stars Over Columbia Quilt, Mary Mack Made Mine
Friday, March 25 – Count My Blessings Quilt, Lemon Tree Snippets

Each of us will have a copy of Wendy's book to give away, so make sure you enter on each blog to win a copy!  You won't want to miss my project - it's so pretty!  I am excited to share it with you!

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Ascending the Lift Hill

Next week is going to be quite the roller coaster, so today I feel like I am going up the first incline (or lift hill) of it.  You know that kind of dread that sinks into your stomach, even though you are excited and looking forward to the ride?  That's kind of how I feel right now...I have two blog hops coming up, and various projects in various stages of being finished and I know it's going to be exhilarating and absolutely a great time...but I feel just a bit overwhelmed at this moment!

This is the one project that does not feel overwhelming right now, and I really want to work on getting it finished!  It's the center of my mini quilt for the MiniMadness challenge for Island Batik!  I just need to do the borders and I can quilt it.  So between working on everything else I am definitely going to fit in a couple hours to work on this lovely little quilt.

I am also participating in the Quilt Quazy Qweens blog hop - don't miss it!  The list of prizes is amazing, and I will keep you up to date as we hop along through that.

And don't forget that the Island Batik Ambassadors are participating in a Hop featuring this great new book by Wendy Sheppard!  That starts on Monday, March 14, and my project will be featured on Wednesday!  You are going to love it :)

You can read more about the hop on Wendy's Blog!

So stay buckled in tight because I'm taking you all along on this roller coaster ride - Woohoo!!!!

Thursday, March 10, 2016

EQ25 - Using EQ7 to print templates for Applique

I guess it's a two post day today, I totally missed that it is the 10th of the month and I intended to share a post on EQ today!  It works out just fine, because I can share how I used EQ7 to print out the templates for this quilt:

When I decided to make the honeybee blocks for this quilt I went straight to EQ7 to print out my templates.  I must say I was sad to find that this is not a block included in the program.  There are a large number of traditional blocks that are included, but I wanted this particular block.  Thankfully, it is super easy to recreate in the program!

Since this block is combined with applique and piecing you want to make sure to design your block in the Easy Draw + Patchdraw mode!  Draw your patchwork grid - I used a 5 x 5 grid.

Next, switch over to applique mode using the tab at the bottom:

Select the teardrop shape using the drawing tool button for ovals.  If you want you can edit the curves a bit, then using the clone tool under the red arrow, make 11 identical copies:

Drag your teardrops to the desired spots and use the flip tools to turn them in the correct orientation.

 If you want to print the templates, go to File, Print, Templates

Once the dialog box comes up make sure that the size of the block is correct.  I have frequently printed the wrong size by mistake!  You can also choose if you want to print a key block, show seam allowance (and choose size of seam allowance) as well as number of copies.

 Once you have the settings correct, choose preview.  Using the delete setting, click and delete the pieces you do not want to include.
 When you are happy with your templates and their placement, you can print the page.  Don't close this tab or you will have to do the deleting over!  You can also move and turn the templates if you like.  These settings are not saved, so if you want to print multiples, make sure you do it now!
Here is the completed quilt on EQ7.  

I was sure glad to be able to print a page of those templates, it sure made it easier to trace them on fusible web so I could add them to the quilt.  If you desired you could even print them directly onto fusible web!  I'm a little scared of running it through my printer so I guess I'll stick with tracing them for now.

As you can see, EQ is useful for a lot of tasks in quilting - I'll be back next month with another project, I'm sure!

Make sure you take a look at Quilt Shop Gal's blog post for today - she features Wendy Sheppard - who has used EQ to design many quilts!  There are even free patterns you can download for some of the quilts.  I'll be joining in next week on a blog hop featuring Wendy's new book.  Make sure you join along, you could win a copy of it, and there will be Island Batik fabric as well!

Pretty as Can Bee Baby Clothes Quilt

I just love how this project came out!  The colors in this set of baby clothes were a sunny yellow and pink, just so pretty - and there were bees on several of the outfits, so that just had to be the theme.  I wanted to do something different, but when it came time to actually start the cutting and sewing, I made a last minute judgement call and decided to go with the Honeybee block.  In order to make the best use of the baby outfits I decided to make the blocks over-sized at 15 inches so that the centers could be 9 inches square.  This allowed me to use up almost every last bit of those cute little outfits.

I decided to alternate the blocks with slightly different coloring to give the quilt a little more interest.  The pink fabric with big white polka dots was the perfect choice for sashing and border, plus I was able to use the last few scraps of baby clothes for the cornerstones!  The hardest part was cutting out the 144 teardrop shapes for the bees in the corners of the blocks - that was quite a task in itself.

 After putting the top together I decided to start out with just some stitch in the ditch quilting around the blocks to see how much more quilting I needed to do.  I really liked the soft feel of the quilt at that point, so finished it off by quilting the teardrops down (they are raw edge, so will fray a tiny bit after a few washes, but will stay put because of the quilting).  I love the white and yellow dot I found for the back - it looks a bit like a honeycomb!

I intended to add just loop the loops around the edges, but found this awesome tutorial to quilt a Honeybee  on The Inbox Jaunt - if you like free motion quilting, you have to check this blog!  Seriously, fun and easy to do because she shows the step by step process.  She also has a great set of doodle tutorials that I fully intend to work through someday.  So I ended up with bees and loops and added her name as well.

Now it's time to pack these beauties up and send them to their home.  

I've got more projects ready to be started!  It's just as much fun to start a new project as it is to finish one, I think!